The best thing you can do for your posture is to be happy. Happy people tend to be buoyant aka “capable of floating”. Buoyant means full of air and full of life. Upward in orientation. Depressed people tend to collapse. They’re pulled down.
When you float through life, you’re much more likely to be happy than when you are focusing, tensing, compressing and pulling down.
Another way to have great posture is to be in the present moment. When you think about the past or the future, you’ll stop noticing what you’re doing in the present, and you will most likely tense and pull down on yourself.
One way to be in the present is to notice everything you can around you. See what’s to your left and to your right and everything in between.
Another way to be present is to listen for every distinctive sound. These choices tend to awaken your kinaesthesia and you’ll find yourself moving up and letting go of needless compression.
Here’s a posture video by golf swing coach David Leadbetter:
For him, posture is a position rather than an orientation. It involves fixing which will always lead to tightening and compression. Notice how tight his shoulders, back and neck are in this video. His face is filled with tension. His jaw is clenched.
This video below claims to improve posture in ten seconds.
The Indian therapist says to the patient: “Imagine there’s a thread in the middle of the head and somebody is pulling you up. Get the chin a bit tucked in. And the shoulders a little back.”
When you try to do these things, or anything like them, you will stiffen and tighten. This unnecessary body tension is the primary reason for bad posture. So even though this advice above sounds good and creates immediate results, in the long run it will do more harm than good.
With the Alexander Technique, our clients are “students”, not “patients.” We don’t fix them or treat them. We educate them about their tension patterns and show how to let go of the patterns that aren’t serving them. We don’t guide them into the correct positions. We show them how they’re holding themselves down and when they let go of these habits, they become buoyant and their posture takes care of itself.
The following dance posture video is excellent, even if you have no interest in dancing:
Below, Elliot says our physical body is a manifestation of our thoughts, emotions and spirit.
Elliot: “You can look at me and my postures and physical manifestation and guess what I’m thinking.”
“The origin of most of our postural distortions are psychological and spiritual.”